YET ANOTHER STORM IS FORMING IN THE GULF OF MEXICO
The disturbance we’ve been following for the last week has finally organized into Tropical Depression Twenty-two in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. It’s forecast to become Tropical Storm Wilfred today or tomorrow as it creeps to the north offshore of Mexico and extreme South Texas.
Once again, the steering currents are weak, so the detailed forecasts are suspect. But over the next 5 days, the majority of the computer forecast models show the system drifting north and then shifting west toward the Texas coast, though that’s not 100%.
Like with Sally, the system is not going to pounce on the coast somewhere, but predicting exactly where the worst of the wind, rain, and storm surge is going to affect the coastline is impossible.
Another complicating and possibly good factor in the forecast is an approaching cold front. It appears that the front and the possibly-tropical storm are going to battle it out. If that battle comes over the open Gulf, the storm would likely be weaker when and if it gets near land, but it’s too early to know when and how that interaction will play out.
For now, everybody along the Texas coast needs to stay well informed.
Elsewhere there’s lots of action.
The bad weather with Ex-Sally has moved off the North Carolina coast. The remnants of the system will get absorbed in a cold front and die at sea.
Category 4 Hurricane Teddy is heading in the direction of Bermuda. It will make its closest approach to the island Sunday night or Monday. It’s going to be a close call whether they get the worst of the hurricane, but it should be weakening at that time. The current forecast is for it to be a Cat 2 when if tracks near or over the island.
Just last Monday, Category 2 Hurricane Paulette passed directly over the island. It’s really unlucky for a little speck of an island in the middle ocean to get run over twice. Although it happened in Bermuda in 2014 with Hurricanes Fay and Gonzalo.
Next week, Teddy is expected to continue north and hit land. Nova Scotia in Atlantic Canada seems to be in the crosshairs, but direct impact on the Maine coast can’t be ruled out. Teddy is expected to have transitioned into a North Atlantic-type storm by then, like a very strong nor’easter, and the coastlines are somewhat used to strong winter storms. Still, this could be extreme, even by their standards.
At the least, Teddy will bring gusty winds, very high surf, and some minor coastal flooding to New England north of Cape Cod.
Farther east, Ex-Paulette may get a second life. It’s moving south toward warmer water and has a chance to become tropical again. It would become Tropical Storm Paulette a second time if its winds reached 40 mph. When a system maintains its circulation and regains tropical characteristics, the name stays.
Disturbance #1 is well on its way to becoming a tropical storm. Winds in the broad circulation are already tropical-storm strength, but it is still disorganized. It is forecast to move fairly slowly and eventually the atmospheric pattern is forecast to become more hostile. In any case, it’s no immediate threat to land, if it ever is.
Behind it, Disturbance #2 is about to move off Africa. It’s expected to move out to sea and not be a threat.
And it the extreme northeast Atlantic, barely visible from the NOAA’s satellite, is Disturbance #3. There is a tropical storm trying to form within a large non-tropical low. It’s likely to run out of time, however, before system runs into Portugal. But it has a chance.
Even with all that going on, no tropical development is expected that would cause a threat to the Bahamas or the Florida Peninsula into the middle of next week, at least.